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Ancient Wisdom for the Modern Soul: Bibliomancy

English: Disciples holding bamboo slips chant ...

Disciples holding bamboo slips chant the much-quoted lines of Lunyu (The Analects): “All those within the four seas can be considered his brothers” during the Opening Ceremony of the Games of the XXIV Olympiad August 8th, 2008, at The Bird’s Nest National Stadium in Beijing. Bamboo slips are the earliest book form of ancient China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Lee Neale

So many books, so little time. Well, you could always try bibliomancy. What is bibliomancy you ask? Basically it’s a form of book-based divination used for discovering solutions to everyday problems that cannot be found in ordinary ways. More specifically, it is an expression of our ability to actively tap our extra sensory perception in order to source vital information from our environment.

Contrary to popular belief, such abilities are not confined to the realms of myth and superstition; they are beginning to have a legitimate scientific basis within the field of quantum physics. Nor are they limited only to a gifted few. We all have extra sensory abilities to some extent, they are a fundamental part of our human nature, but in an age where empirical logic and scientific materialism are dominant, they have become atrophied through lack of use.

There is abundant evidence to show that humans haven’t always been subject to such reduced sensory ratios. Anthropological research reveals that many indigenous groups with remaining pre-historic roots see most modern humans as disconnected from higher-awareness in ways that are nothing short of pathologically destructive to our species and the planet. Research on a number of highly-advanced ancient civilizations such as those once found in Egypt, South America, Iraq, China and India, also shows us that appeals for extra sensory information through symbols, deities, nature and ancestral spirits, were not just fringe practices as they have often been portrayed. It has become increasingly apparent that expression and connection with divine principals were in fact fundamental to the development of such technologically sophisticated cultures at all levels.

Psychic connection with our environment is possible because we have the ability to transmit, receive and interpret subtle energetic information that vibrates on the same level as the particular qualities of our consciousness at any given time. We are able to receive and transmit data instantaneously, because at the level of quantum expression energy is not bound by the laws of causality as it is in the material end of the spectrum which we perceive through our physical senses. We connect with different informational events embedded within space-time according to the similarity of the frequency at which they vibrate relative to our own consciousness. The stronger the similarity, the greater the coherence between seemingly isolated events in space-time.

Divination board, Yoruba peoples, possibly Owo...

Divination board, Yoruba peoples, possibly Owo region, Nigeria, Late 19th to early 20th century, Wood (Photo credit: cliff1066™)

There is an underlying truth to the adage: “birds of a feather flock together.” It could be interpreted as a metaphor for the way people, events and objects energetically gravitate towards one another. So while people are free to make individual choices, there are also powerful underlying processes of exchanged resonance that bring energetic influences into awareness of and contention with one another at the quantum level.

This is why it’s possible for us to use divination to intuitively squeeze information out of the moment, right at the point in space-time when its realization is most useful to our experience of reality. In the same way that ancient people engaged in ritual practices to explore and expand their consciousness to support their material and spiritual evolution, we can also use techniques to cast our awareness inward, to connect with our potential for increased abundance and wellbeing in our modern daily lives.

The ancient art of bibliomancy is but one of many practical techniques for achieving this. Other more commonly known methods may include: rune stones, coin casting, tarot cards, and dowsing to name but a few. Certain prayers, meditations, yogas and dreams also have the potential to yield some very beneficial divination results.

How to Practice Bibliomancy

1. Relax; empty your mind and do a short meditation or prayer to connect yourself with the source of your inner-power.

2. Focus your mind deeply on finding the solution to an issue in life that is causing you difficulty.

3. Be sure to express your sincerest heartfelt intent to connect with the wisdom necessary to overcome your particular obstacle. To clarify and focus your intent, it’s a good idea to have some pre-prepared questions written on paper which you can read separately or include within your prayer.

4. Without looking or consciously thinking, randomly select a book from one of your bookshelves and flip it open at any page.

5. Read the first page that your eyes fall upon and the passage you read may contain answers to   a question or questions that you had in mind. It’s that simple! Well almost, there are a few important points to be aware of first.

English: A VERY curious place to see two books...

A VERY curious place to see two books As anyone who knows me will testify, I cannot resist any book. So when I saw two books propped against the lamppost in the alley from Castle Arch to Tunsgate I had to investigate. They turned out to be shrink wrapped copies of the Bhagavad Gita. I wonder if they are put there by adherents of that text. I really don’t know, but I bet someone who browses “Geograph” will…. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the beginning, the answer may not always be so obvious. You may need to realize that you were focusing in on the wrong question and that the solution to another more urgent matter has drawn attention to itself within the text instead. The reason for this is that you may be connecting with and interpreting the text in terms of wants that are pleasing to the ego-identity, as opposed to what you may really need in terms of communication from your higher-self.

The more you develop this skill, the more you will notice that the links between questions and answers become more useful for everyday problem solving. Eventually, if you practice regularly, you can pose questions and have them answered with surprising clarity. Over time, what was once a seemingly random and chaotic outer process can develop a startling pattern of synchronicity with your inner-awareness.

While some people naturally have more sensitively attuned psychic antennae, at times, even the most gifted diviners can have a bad day. However, with persistence, even people possessing little to no natural psychic abilities can learn to expand and actively focus their extra sensory perception. In this regard, raw psychic talent is not necessarily a substitute for genuine intent and effort. By having a simple daily ritual for connecting with your higher awareness, such as meditation, martial arts, yoga or Tai-chi, it’s possible to strengthen your ability to reach out and telepathically source information.

English: A page from a Song Dynasty (960-1279)...

A page from a Song Dynasty (960-1279) printed book of the I Ching (Yi Jing, Classic of Changes or Book of Changes). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my experience, the best books for bibliomancy are dense esoteric texts full of timeless wisdom: particularly those that have been written by great psychics, chanellers, visionaries, mystics, healers, philosophers or teachers of any genuine spiritual tradition from anywhere around the world. Personally, I have had a lot of success with texts such as, The Seth Speaks series by Jane Roberts, The Analects of Confucius, The Kabbalah, The I-Ching and The Bhagavad-Gita. Even pocket books by the Dalai Lama are handy for some quick wisdom on the run.

Non-esoteric texts can also be effective, as long as you have a meaningful connection with them. Inspirational novels, poetry books, self-help books and yes, even books on how to increase wealth can be useful too, should you be seeking to improve your financial situation. (Don’t laugh, in some countries there are actually laws banning the use of divination for picking stocks on the stock market.) Once you know how to look, deep wisdom can be sourced from practically anything that contains textual data. In this regard, perhaps even quirky epithets from the back of shopping receipts may not be out of bounds.

Wherever you find your answers, you should always engage in a period of reflection to consider whether the data is useful to your experience of reality. If something you have discovered conflicts too deeply with your intuition about yourself or your circumstances, then perhaps it should be ignored. (Like I said, even the best of diviners have bad days.) There should be at least some aspect of your own thinking mirrored back at you through divined information: it should feel as though your inner-reality is being expressed outwardly in what you find. This can occur through symbolism, archetypes, key words, phrases, concepts and images which may resonate either directly or more generally with your thoughts, feelings and recent experiences.

Sometimes though, answers may not be what you want to believe, but are being advised to confront and resolve by your higher-awareness. Certain truths may hurt a little, but this is not necessarily a bad thing, they can serve as lessons which may greatly benefit your personal evolution. Revealed truth can set you free by reintroducing you to the power of your own inner-reality and how profoundly it influences your external one. Sometimes you may even find with great joy, that regarding certain issues, you have been on the right track all along. In such cases, revealed answers give you deeper confidence by reflecting what you have already intuitively sensed or done.

The End of Books - page 231a

“Editorial Rooms of the Photographic Journal of the Future” (1926) – The End of Books – page 231a (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As revealed textual data doesn’t always play by the rules of linear time, you should let the images of the text float around loosely in the back of your mind. However, don’t dwell on them too heavily. If, after a while, they continue to hold no meaningful association, then let them go. A more meaningful answer may pop up at some other time when it is needed. It is also useless to persistently search for answers to the same question over and over to confirm whether the answer is right or wrong. No two moments in our existence are alike, and moment by moment, our being is connecting with different expressions of its multi-dimensionality, according to the quality of our thoughts and feelings. Because each moment is as unique in its intersection of possibilities as the crystals of a snowflake, doing multiple searches for the same question runs the risk of just repeatedly selecting information based on what is most appealing to the dictates of vanity.

If you really take time to hone your bibliomancy skills, you begin to realize that divination can be practiced though virtually any media: anything from the internet to newspapers, to TV — you name it. I was once trying to figure out how to express a really tricky physics concept in writing and sat down in a funk of deep frustration. Seeking to relax and distract my mind, I gave in to a sudden urge to turn on the TV and put it onto a particular channel. Low and behold, a program about quantum physics came on that expressed with elegant simplicity, the exact phenomena I was trying to describe. So if you suddenly get an unexplained urge to connect with some form of media, then you should definitely express that intent and see where it may lead. It could be your higher awareness attempting to plug you into the greater potentiality of your own being in order to help you overcome obstacles.

The manner in which data reveals itself also has important lessons too. The medium and the way you interact with it may also be the message to some extent. Failure to divine anything meaningful from a text can sometimes be your inner-awareness telling you not to be so attached to seeking outward solutions, to be patient, or to have more faith in your own intuition.

Critical Mass I Ching

Critical Mass I Ching (Photo credit: Payton Chung)

As you become more practiced at bibliomancy, you can also begin to discover a lot about biases in the way you interpret information. It can be a powerful method of pointing out how beliefs in certain areas of your life are either limiting or enhancing your reality. This makes it a very valuable tool on the path to holistic healing.

While forms of divination such as bibliomancy can be a valuable source of day to day self-improvement, they can also help us to realize how our outer-reality directly responds to the energetic flows of our inner-being at the atomic level. Seen in this light, consciousness becomes not simply a random byproduct of biological evolution imprisoned within the electro-chemical processes of flesh and blood, but part of a cyclic, constantly flowing continuum of energetic events and multi-dimensional data exchange that transcends time and space as we currently understand them. Divination practice therefore, has the power to awaken us, not just to our role as active participants in the unfolding narrative cycles of the universe, but also as inheritors of ancient, yet timeless wisdom embedded within the very fabric of our being. In realizing this, how could we ever be content to continue judging the truly epic texts of our lives by little more than their hide-bound covers?

About the Author

Lee Neale is the founder of Shama Gaia. He’s an Australian-born sociologist, language teacher and Shamanic healer living in Japan.

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Review – Buddha Wild: The Monk In A Hut (DVD)

Title: Buddha Wild: The Monk In A Hut
Genre: Documentary, Buddhism, Spirituality
Distribution: Reality Films

Buddha Wild: The Monk In A Hut is one of the best documentaries about Buddhism to appear in a long time. Written, directed and filmed by Anna Wilding, this film is fresh, sincere and fun without sacrificing its critical edge.

One would scarcely know this was Wilding’s first documentary. The polished narration, interviews, camera work and editing seem more like the work of a seasoned director, while the soundtrack enhances but never overshadows the story.

The film kicks off with a brief synopsis about the historical spread of Buddhism. Then it shifts to a Theravada temple nestled deep in Thailand, where much of the footage takes place.

We learn about the legend of the Buddha–his early life, insights and subsequent enlightenment. In addition, the film takes a penetrating look into some of the rules, opinions and objectives of several monks and an abbot, and is sprinkled with comments from visiting lay Buddhists.

Before watching this DVD I prepared myself for the usual ho-hum cliches about how materialistic city folk just don’t get it because we’re locked into our so-called “monkey minds,” obsessed with gadgets, and so on. But this film contains none of that talk, which usually comes off as thinly veiled discrimination and hypocrisy. Instead, these monks seem sincerely gentle, playful and compassionate.

Also commendable is Wilding’s probing with regard to the status of women in Buddhism. Some of the monks she interviews attribute questionable gender-related practices to “Tai culture” and not to Buddhism, itself, where women and men are said to be equal.

This raises the hot button issue as to whether any person, religious or otherwise, may justify unfair or discriminatory practices by pointing to “culture” or “tradition.”

Buddha Wild pursues the question of gender inequality without upsetting the apple cart. Wilding is provocative but also diplomatic. After all, if she’d pressed the monks too hard, the film might not have been finished and gone on to receive the Dalai Lama’s official blessing in 2010.

Like most religions (and many things in life), Buddhism abides by an organizational hierarchy. And these particular monks know that politics matters. They even say so. At first glance they might seem naïve and simple, but it soon becomes clear that they’re well aware of the complex world around them and, for the most part, university educated.

Central to any worldview, political or not, is the meaning of freedom. Wilding observes that the monks are free from worry when it comes to paying the monthly bills. But they’re not free, she adds, to pursue the worldly pleasures that many of us take for granted. For instance, the monks observe a rigid mealtime schedule and, like their Catholic counterparts, take a vow of celibacy.

Perhaps the most engaging part of the film occurs when Wilding enters a monk’s hut. But don’t conjure up images of a quaint straw dwelling without any modern conveniences. In this hut spirituality and technology converge. The joyful and contented monk in the hut sits at a computer, reads in two languages, meditates, and has, as he puts it, “sweet dreams” in his simple but adequate bed.

Wilding talks candidly about her initial apprehension to enter the hut alone. But she leaves somewhat relieved, finding the experience to have been wholesome and refreshing.

Altogether, Buddha Wild is a great introduction to the philosophical underpinnings, ideals and observances of Buddhism. It’s one of those films where theory and practice easily coalesce to produce something really quite memorable.

Bonus features include a segment with a Sri Lankan Buddhist monk residing in Los Angeles plus a shorter scene with the Dalai Lama, amid countless camera flashes, talking about the intimate connection between personal and global caring.

–MC

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